A Malaysian court handed a jail term of 34 months and a fine to a man who killed a cat by stuffing it into the dryer of a launderette, it was the first such conviction under a new animal welfare law.
In Tuesday’s judgment, which the court stayed pending appeal by Nov 12, K. Ganesh, 42, was ordered to pay a fine of RM40,000 (S$13,100) for his crime, captured in a closed-circuit television (CCTV) clip that went viral on social media last year.
The grainy video shows a man holding open the dryer door as another pushes the cat in, before they turn the machine on and leave. The judge, Ms Rasyihah Ghazali, said the sentencing took into account the fact that Ganesh was the one who placed the cat into the dryer. “I hope this sentence will serve as a lesson to the accused and the public to not be cruel to animals,” the judge said.
During mitigation earlier, the defence asked that Ganesh be given a minimal prison sentence, as he could not afford to pay a fine. “He only earns RM20 a day and is providing for his wife and child, as well as his father who is a person with disability after his leg was amputated due to diabetes,” said his lawyer S. Muthuveeran.
The prosecution, however, argued that his cruel act towards an innocent and defenceless cat warranted a harsh sentence. Selangor Veterinary Department prosecuting officer Roslan Mohd Isa who stood for the prosecution said Ganesh’s behaviour showed that he had no regard for the life of an animal.
“We have always seen this act as a result of the accused’s attitude of not giving any regard to the life of the cat nor does he see an animal as a living being.
“Animals have the right to live and their welfare should be taken care of,” he said, adding that the clip of the perpetrator in the midst of the act has also incurred the anger of many Malaysians.—INP